New Delhi: Fresh outbreaks of dreaded H1N1 virus have surfaced in Maharashtra, Rajasthan and some other states claiming at least 21 lives in the last three months. At least 309 cases have been reported in five states including Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Gujarat, according to the latest Health ministry figures.
While states reporting fresh cases of H1N1 influenza virus (also known as swine flu, have been asked to step up surveillance by Union Health Ministry to check further spread of the virus, the Government said there was no cause for panicor alarm.
Of the total 21 deaths in 2012 so far, Maharashtra has reported nine deaths, followed by seven in Rajasthan and five in Andhra Pradesh. No death has taken place in Karnataka and Gujarat, which have also reported cases of H1N1 virus this year.
"The Health Ministry is monitoring the situation. There is no cause for worry. States where cases had been reported have been advised to step up surveillance to control further spread of the virus," Health Secretary PK Pradhan told PTI.
Health Ministry officials point out that these are "isolated outbreaks", which occur due to change of season and claimed corrective measures have been taken to ensure the virus is not spread from humans to humans.
During March 1-27 this year, Maharashtra alone reported 172 cases followed by 39 in Rajasthan, 36 in Andhra Pradesh and 11 in Karnataka and one in Gujarat.
The spread of virus is mainly around Pune in Maharashtra, which accounted for majority of cases, officials said.
The Do's and Don'ts
- Avoid close contact with people having respiratory illness.
- Stay home, away from work, school, public places when sick.
- Cover mouth and nose with tissue or handkerchief when coughing or sneezing.
- Avoid crowded public places.
- Wash hands with soap or alcohol-based hand wash.
- Manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids and eat nutritious food.
- Persons who develop influenza-like-illness (ILI) (fever with either cough or sore throat) should self-isolate at home.
- Persons who have difficulty breathing or shortness of breath should seek immediate medical attention.
- Persons in home isolation and household members should use precautions like frequent hand washing.